For some time now, there has been talk about whether or not Apple CEO Tim Cook is indeed gay or not. While it isn't a huge deal, it has been a topic that's been brought up time and time again as Cook often shows his public support for LGBT rights. Well, as Recode pointed out on June 27, 2014, CNBC had a panel in which the discussion was openly gay executives and one panelist accidentally outed Tim Cook as "openly gay."
Cook has never publicly discussed his personal life and some news outlets have insinuated that he's gay, but never actually said it. Simon Hobbs, co-host for "Squawk on the Street" decided to take the insinuations a step further.
New York Times columnist James Stewart was speaking of his column on Tim Cook from last month, and stated he reached out to the gay CEOs of many companies. He said that "not one would allow to be named at all," but he got a cool reception.
That was when Hobbs decided to open his mouth.
"I think Tim Cook is fairly open about the fact he’s gay at the head of Apple, isn’t he?" said Hobbs.
At this point, the panel went absolutely silent. It literally just turned to dead silence in the news room and everyone stared in disbelief at Hobbs. Finally, the silence was broken by Stewart who said:
"I don't want to comment about anybody who might or might not be. I'm not going to out anybody."
Stewart's expression was pure television gold as he shook his head in complete and utter disbelief. The rest of the panel had no clue what to say or do, and hearing Hobbs attempt to recover by saying, "Oh dear, was that an error?" was phenomenally awkward.
Tim Cook has time and time again shown his support for LBGT rights, and was even the most powerful LGBT person on Out's 2013 power list. Still, Tim Cook has never come out and said anything personally about his sexual preference.
CNBC declined to comment on this morning's panel and Apple has not yet said anything either.